Johnsons of Whixley nurseryman shows career progression opportunities

Johnsons of Whixley's Terry Cooper has shown how there are career development opportunities in the nursery industry after starting as an agency worker before moving up to become an integral part of the company's IT department.

Johnsons employs around 100 full-time members of staff, rising to 150 seasonally, and runs a management training programme, with courses delivered both on-site and externally with industry experts. Workers have been offered the opportunity to forge careers with the company, with a growing number now occupying management roles after rising through the ranks.

Cooper started at Johnsons’ Cattal site as an agency worker and was taken on permanently after six months. Two years later, when he applied for the role of system support assistant, he moved into the IT department.

Graham Richardson, Group Managing Director at Johnsons, said: "People have always been at the heart of what we do and we already have a management traineeship programme in place that we hope will provide a vocational platform from which the business’s future leaders can emerge. In the case of Terry, however, it wasn’t until one of our staff mentioned that he was a secret computer genius that we realised there was so much more to his talents than working in the nursery. When a vacancy arose, we invited him to an interview, then a trial – and he has never looked back.

"Working alongside our IT manager, Darren Earle, Terry now offers vital support to our entire user database and has become an accomplished writer of reports in query language. He is currently helping to develop add-ons for our back office system.

"Not only is Terry adding significant support value, he brings an in-depth knowledge of growing and the operations of the business, which results in an inherent ability to relate to the issue/opportunity and rapidly deliver a solution.

"His career move is beneficial on both sides and his appointment sends out a message that we encourage personal development – and of course the business gains as a result."
Cooper said: "We early millennials were kids when the internet first became widely accessible and it was difficult not to be influenced by such a fascinating communications revolution. My new role is very different from plant production but is also very varied, covering providing user support, system testing, cyber securing and maintaining both hardware and software.

"I really welcome the opportunity to acquire knowledge, with an excellent mentor, of a constantly evolving progressive industry sector and seeing tangible benefits where improvements have been implemented."

IT manager Darren Earle said: "When the opportunity arose for Terry to move into IT on a permanent basis, I had little doubt he would be able to take on the role and learn additional skills. Terry continues to develop his skills and improve his knowledge – in fact, such are his capabilities, it is easy to forget he has only been in the role for 12 months."

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Read These Next

Careers in Horticulture: how the new gold-standard T level will inspire horticulture recruits

Careers in Horticulture: how the new gold-standard T level will inspire horticulture recruits

This year’s HW careers guide starts with Dr Steve Dowbiggin detailing latest efforts to attract younger people to working in horticulture as well as further action that still needs to be taken.

Horticulture Salary Survey: what do the past year’s job adverts tell us?

Horticulture Salary Survey: what do the past year’s job adverts tell us?

Horticulture has typically been seen as a low-paid job, but evidence from analysis of Horticulture Week job advertisements from across the industry portrays a different picture, Matthew Appleby reports.

Leptospermum

Leptospermum

These long-lasting pretty flowers add a splash of colour to borders in spring and summer, says Miranda Kimberley.



 

Horticulture Week

The latest developments concerning coronavirus for horticulture industry professionals involved in buying or selling garden products and plants or producing and participating in horticultural shows and events.
Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Horticulture Week Top 100 Ornamentals nurseries

See our exclusive RANKING  of ornamentals nurseries by annual turnover  plus the  FULL REPORT AND ANALYSIS

Tim Edwards

Boningales Nursery chairman Tim Edwards on the business of ornamentals production
 

Read Tim Edwards

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.

Peter Seabrook

Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world
 

Read more Peter Seabrook articles